eLearning in PhD education across continents: Technologies and pedagogies for a Virtual Community of Practice

Jens Seeberg, Beatrice Ogange

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperCommunication

Abstract

This paper shares approaches adopted, experiences and lessons learned from a project that used eLearning technologies and pedagogies with the aim of strengthening research and research teaching capacity at tertiary educational institutions in Kenya (Maseno University, Uganda (Gulu University) and Nepal (Tribhuvan University), in collaboration with three universities in Denmark, Aarhus, Aalborg and Roskilde. Of particular interest here is the role that the eCampus of Maseno University in Kenya was able play as a resource centre for all the participating north- and south-partner universities and as the host of the Moodle platform. Focusing on PhD courses and using Moodle as a joint platform, the project developed new ways of joint supervision and researcher training across continents through a mixed approach. Physical presence in a workshop at one university was linked with online participation at partner universities, where participants collaborated with colleagues in tasks on discussion forums as well as web conferencing. In addition, two joint conferences were conducted with a one year interval, allowing students and their supervisors to meet and exchange their research and approaches. While the activities increased international exposure to both PhD students and supervisors throughout the project, they also created opportunities for reflection on and modification of usual practices, as supervisors and co-supervisors were brought together in a shared learning space, or a Community of Practice. The paper discusses the heuristic usefulness of the concept of Community of Practice and contrasts it with the concept of Imagined Communities in the context of the international collaboration of the project.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date10 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • elearning methodologies and practices,
  • PhD training

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